It’s been an interesting week in Edinburgh, I’ve participated in my first big protest (the one that was on Saturday, see the previous post…) and I’ve watched a number of more violent protests – or riots if you will. On Monday, anarchists turned the city into mayhem, causing police to come out in their hundreds. The riot police were particularily worrying – they came out with their sheilds and batons, forming a line to block off protesters. We were blocked in the Princes Street Gardens for several hours, whilst police tried to defuse the situation. Some of the more interesting protesters included a giant bunny rabbit who tried to feed the police horses carrots (I talked to him for a while, ashamed to admit he was Australian), a completely naked guy running around, many many clowns and a heap of anarchists with black bandanas over their mouths and noses. The protesters with their faces covered were by far the scariest, not something you expect to experience, being surrounded by black-bandana’d protesters. The police dogs were impressive, very scary looking. I didn’t see them actually being used, they were just brought out and all the protesters backed off immediently. They had a pretty terrifying bark… Not too many injuries, it was reported that there were 21 people admitted to hospital, and 90 people arrested. Since then there have been several protests, a couple more on Monday, some on Wednesday. Of course I’ve been down there in the middle of it all, with a couple of others from the hostel.
This past week, Tash, Elysha, Mike and I also went on a ghost tour. Very exciting, we were lead down to the underground vaults by our guide. Apparently Edinburgh is full of these underground vaults, in the good days they were used as wine cellers and cobblers basements. Soon after using them as storage rooms, it was discovered that, 3 days after raining in Princes Street, the rain would seep through to the vaults. Consequently, they were used as housing for the poor, as many as 15 families would cram into a room. The vaults that we saw were owned by the tour company, there are many more that have been turned into basements, nightclubs, music rehersal areas and bars. Our guide walked us through the vaults, explaining ‘spirits’ that they know to lurk in the particular rooms. After the vaults we concluded the tour at midnight, in the Cannongate Graveyard. I didn’t get any ‘ghostie’ pictures, but did get some photos that have ‘orbs’ in them. Who knows?
Wow, just got woken up this morning to a text message from Laura, saying that bombs had gone off in London and she was just checking that I was ok. I started to write back, saying that she was wrong, nothing had happened or I’d know, when Ryan came racing into our room, yelling at us to get up and come watch the news – 6 bombs have gone off in central London. Since then another bomb has gone off, all have involved the transport system – busses, tubes and stations. Kind of scary. We’re not sure if it’s to do with the Olympics (London has just been named the winner of the 2012 Olympics) or G8, or even something else. A good number of London Police are up in Edinburgh dealing with the G8, I’ve just heard that they’ve headed back to London to help out. I’m still crossing my fingers and hoping that mum will still get through – she has to fly through Heathrow to get here today, not sure how the airports will be affected. We’ve had two bomb scares in Edinburgh since the attacks – one on a bus, where the police did a ‘controlled explosion’, and another suspicious package around the corner from the hostel. Both were reported as just suspicious packages and nothing more, so we should be fine.
Take care everyone xo Bobs